Last updated: October 15. 2013 11:18PM - 607 Views

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Three cheers for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

Goodness knows we’ve had our differences with the conservative Republican from Lehigh County, but, as sensibility seems to be returning to Washington, we were struck by a profound statement he made Friday about the federal government shutdown.

“I never thought it was a good idea, and I never signed on to the approach of insisting we would shut down the government if we didn’t defund Obamacare,” he said.

“As strongly opposed to Obamacare as I am, it is pretty clear to me that the president has a different point of view, and he’s still the president. He was never going to sign legislation that would effectively negate what he considers to be his signature accomplishment.”

And, in our view, the same would go for President Reagan, President Clinton and Presidents Bush.

Why that would never dawn on the minions of the Tea Party, who have shamed the United States in the eyes of the world by bringing its government to a halt, proves the difference between those who are capable of governing and those who go to Washington to serve an ideology and not a country.

You can count among the latter U.S. Reps. Keith Rothfus, Tim Murphy, Mike Kelly and Bill Shuster, each of whom saw the budget showdown as an opportunity, not to negotiate and compromise on a new spending plan, but to hold a president, a nation and a long-settled health care law hostage.

Thank you, Sen. Toomey, for reminding your colleagues that good government comes with limits and that an unrealistic demand will never lead to compromise. Whether conservative or liberal, more levelheaded lawmakers like him deserve to walk the halls of Congress.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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